From the Lord of the Flies vibe at Fyre, to the meltdowns at Hope & Glory and Y Not, music festivals feel more precarious than ever. Are the failures down to ‘acts of God’, or just bad leadership?
Last weekend, punters turned up to Hope & Glory in Liverpool expecting a “wonderful boutique festival” that would be “stylish yet subversive – think Charles Darwin meets Tim Burton”. At least, that’s what the advert promised.
It wasn’t too wrong. There was definitely a sense of survival of the fittest for event-goers trying to navigate queues and the lack of facilities, mixed with nightmarish Burtonian unease. But there wasn’t actually a festival, so to speak. The first day was marred by overcrowding and hours of delays, and by Sunday morning the whole event had been shut down, with nothing more than printed-out posters and a tweet reading “no festival today”. Rather than being all about the headliners, it was all about the headlines that followed.
Summing up YNOT in a pic pic.twitter.com/ep2oR8rasm